Florida prepares for riots following verdict in George Zimmerman trial (videos)

George Zimmerman is inching closer to finding his fate after shooting to death an unarmed teenager on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman, 29, admitted to killing Trayvon Martin in what he described as self-defense. Though initially charged with second-degree murder, Judge Nelson ruled on July 11, 2013, that the volunteer, neighborhood watchman could be convicted of the lesser included offense of
Trayvon Martin's body lies dead on the ground
manslaughter. While the possibility of a full acquittal for the man once deemed the most hated in America remains strong, Florida prepares for riots as there is a large number of the population that believes Zimmerman unjustly profiled Trayvon Martin due to his race, then shot him dead. Trayvon Martin was unarmed and had been carrying a bag of Skittles candy and an Arizona, iced-tea.

The Broward Sheriff's Office released a public service announcement and press release stating they are working hand-in-hand with the Sanford Police Department in hopes to keep communities peaceful should Zimmerman beat the charges against him. They are one of several Florida counties preparing for the possibility of civil unrest and rioting should Zimmerman be acquitted.

The press release is as follows:

PIO Number: 13-7-9
The Broward Sheriff’s Office, working closely with the Sanford Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies, has coordinated a response plan in anticipation of the verdict.

Freedom of expression is a constitutional right. While raising your voice is encouraged, using your hands is not. BSO has created a public service announcement with the help of kids from the Jason Taylor Foundation, H.A.N.D.Y. (Helping Abused, Neglected, Disadvantaged Youth) and basketball star James Jones of the championship Miami Heat team urging young people not to let their emotions get the best of them.

“We don’t have information about a specific event that might take place at the conclusion of the trial, but we encourage everyone to keep any protests peaceful,” Sheriff Scott Israel said.

Members of the BSO Strategic Investigation Division have been monitoring the pulse of the situation, maintaining open lines of communication with community leaders, civic activists, members of the clergy, as well as local, state and federal agencies.

***MEDIA NOTE: Two video PSAs and audio files of each are available for download from our website www.sheriff.org.

THIS REPORT BY:  Keyla ConcepciĆ³n - PIO


What do you think about the George Zimmerman trial? Are you expecting an eruption of violence should Zimmerman be acquitted?

Do you think the George Zimmerman/Trayon Martin case was one based on race?